Day 14: San Martín del Camino
We walked 15.2 miles from León to San Martín del Camino
It was a major bummer to get out of bed in the morning. Our hotel was amazing. We could actually sleep in the sheets and not have to worry about bed bugs (a fear that still keeps us up at night in hostels). We left our hotel at 6:50am- which was pretty early for our standards. Five minutes into our walk we stopped at a vegan cafe and had the most amazing coffee. We were so happy to have found this gem because most places in the city don't open up til much later in the morning and Grace and I (but mostly Grace) get cranky without coffee.
The hike was kind of crappy today- probably the worst hike yet. For the first half of the day we walked through neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. The neighborhoods were not welcoming and the people were not friendly. The cars zoom passed us and the wind practically knocks us over (either they don't have speed limits in Spain or they are not enforced).
The rest of the day was along side a highway. There were no buildings or trees aka no place to pee literally anywhere. To add to the misery, there was more pilgrim traffic than we had encountered anywhere else aka peeing was not a possibility and I was super frustrated and sad. It was a 9 mile stretch without the opportunity to pee. I think I had to pee like half a mile in...so I knew it was gonna be rough. At one point I totally came to terms with the fact that I might pee myself. I was like "I have other clothes to hike in and I can do laundry and it will be ok. I'll survive if I pee myself." So that peace of mind definitely helped me stress less in the final mile before charging into a bar on the outskirts of the closest village.
We stopped at a hostel that had fairly good ratings and got bunk beds in a room of 8 people (slightly pushing Grace's limit but we had a good sleep the night before so she let it slide). The food at this Hostel was fantastic. We split an incredible chorizo and cheese sandwich for lunch and had an amazing seafood paella for dinner.
One of the hardest parts about skipping ahead on the Camino was knowing we'd never run into many of our friends again. We found ourselves missing them all day and scheming of ways to find them on social media based on the facts of their lives we knew (yikes, sounds so creepy to write that). At the same time, we met some great people our first night on this side of the Camino. Among them was a hilarious duo from Montana and a friendly guy from Sweden. It'll be nice to see familiar faces while we walk tomorrow.
A Trace of Grace
Notes from a trekking Mama
I know I have been super positive about our walk so far, I didn't even mind the bed bugs, but today was challenging. Long, flat 14 mile stretch with hard pavement and no water closets- not even a bush that would be discreet enough to pee behind. I am grateful for Hannah's sense of humor and high speed walking that got us to our albergue.